Anticipating the birth of a baby can be an amazing but anxious time. Moms-to-be focus on doing "all the right things" to welcome a healthy child into the world. When a pregnancy becomes what physicians call "high risk," accessing critical health care services is extremely important.

Fortunately, The Family Ties Birthing Center at Coliseum Medical Centers can link high-risk obstetrics patients with the right physician, a perinatologist, via an electronic connection. The service, called Maternal Fetal Telemedicine is the use of technology to electronically exchange medical information and provide medical services to patients from a distance.

Your telemedicine visit may include:

  • Videoconferencing with a specialist at another location
  • Transmission of live ultrasound images
  • Capture of ultrasound images that are then stored for later review and interpretation by the specialist

Will Patients Still Need to See a Specialist in Person?

Possibly, but the ultimate goal of telemedicine is to allow patients to receive care close to home, rather than being required to travel.

What is a live, interactive video consultation?

A live, interactive videoconference consultation is one in which the specialist and the patient are present at the same time, but not in the same location. The specialist is often located either in a special telemedicine facility or in his or her office. The patient is at a different location, such as a clinic or hospital, and may be accompanied by a telemedicine presenter, who is a staff member at that location. Communication between the specialist and patient is transmitted via secure, high speed telecommunications. The parties can see each other on a video monitor and can interact via speaker.

A maternal fetal medicine consultation may also include an ultrasound. Live ultrasound imaging performed by a certified ultrasonographer during the visit is combined with the live video conference. The patient will see the ultrasound images and the provider as the consultation proceeds. This allows the specialist to point out what is being viewed during the visit and helps provide the patient a better understanding of what is happening with her baby.

For more information about Maternal-Fetal Telemedicine, call (800) 301-6254.